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26 June 2015updated 26 Jul 2021 6:01am

Does Jeremy Corbyn even believe he can’t be Labour leader? He’s applying for another job…

The Labour leadership hopeful has sent an email out to his colleagues asking for their support for him to be elected to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

By Anoosh Chakelian

The question we’ve been toying with ever since Jeremy Corbyn made the Labour leadership ballot paper is could he actually win?

“My fear is everyone’s so bored about the contest and has given up that they’ll just think, ‘f*** it, I’ll put Jeremy down’ and he absolutely mullers it,” is what one Labour adviser remarked to me gloomily the other day.

And, more scientifically, my colleague Stephen has written an excellent analysis of the scenario that would enable Corbyn to win. He concludes that it would be difficult but doable.

But perhaps Corbyn himself doesn’t believe he’s headed for the top. It turns out he’s been canvassing his fellow MPs to elect him to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Applying for another job doesn’t exactly scream confidence in his own campaign, does it?

Here’s his email passed to me today:

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It says:

From: CORBYN, Jeremy
Sent: 26 June 2015 12:48
To: CORBYN, Jeremy
Subject: Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Dear Colleague

I have put my name forward to be a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and I sincerely hope you’ll consider voting for me.

I’ve made several requests in the past to join this committee as I’ve spent my whole life in parliament raising many issues of international human rights, peace and equality, in one form or another.

I hope to be able to contribute to the work of the committee and bring, what I hope you would agree is a great deal of experience in many international causes, including regular attendance at the UN Human Rights Council and Nonproliferation Treaty conferences, as well as other important events including the World Social Forum.  I also have experience of sitting on committees (most recently the Justice Select Committee) and am keen to transfer that experience to a new and valued role in foreign affairs.

I’m an officer of a number of relevant All Party Parliamentary Groups including Mexico, Chagos, the Western Sahara, and I’ve been an officer of the APPG Human Rights since being elected to parliament.  I’ve travelled to many of these regions as well as other war torn areas, and I’ve participated in or led parliamentary delegations where I’ve been especially proactive in meeting locals, as well as politicians involved.

I continue to take a great interest in parliamentary activities relating to international affairs, and though some of these subjects have been relatively high profile, many have not.  I am happy to have a chat with anyone who wishes it and my number is below.  I particularly welcome the opportunity to get to know some of our newer members.

Having read thus far, thank you for considering this request.

Best wishes

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Note how it makes no mention of the Labour leadership contest.